Valéry Giscard d’Estaing

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Chief Researcher
Affiliation: Institute of World History, RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameNovaia i noveishaia istoriia
EditionIssue 5

Using the latest French literature, the author presents a biographical sketch of the life and political activity of the third President of the Fifth Republic Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. He traces the life path of the future President of France, the formation of his personality and political views. Participation in the Second World War at its final stage, studying at the prestigious École Polytechnique and the elite École nationale d’administration, which trains senior staff for the civil service. Then, work in the Ministry for the Economy and Finance and election to Parliament, which paved the way for him into big politics. The article describes the complex relationship between the young politician and President de Gaulle, as well as Prime Minister Pompidou, and his work as the Minister of Finance and leader of the neoliberal ‘Independent Republicans’. The author also reveals the circumstances of Giscard d’Estaing’s election as the head of state in 1974, characterises his political programme and analyses the main directions of France’s domestic, socio-economic, and foreign policies under Giscard d’Estaing’s presidency (1974–1981). The article reveals reasons for the failure of d’Estaing’s project of socio-economic and political modernization of France in the mid-1970s. The author describes the complex relationship between President Giscard d’Estaing and Prime Minister Jacques Chirac, the leader of the Gaullist, reflecting not only a personal rivalry between the two politicians, but also the conceptual contradictions within the ruling coalition. This rivalry and these contradictions weakened the position of Giscard D’Estaing in many ways, when in 1981 he tried to get re-elected for a second term, but was defeated. The author follows Giscard D’Estaing’s energetic political activity after his resignation, highlighting his position regarding the return of Crimea to Russia.

KeywordsValéry Giscard d’Estaing, France, Fifth Republic, Gaullism, Neoliberalism, Second World War, General de Gaulle, Georges Pompidou, François Mitterrand, Jacques Chirac, Europe, the USA, the USSR, Russia
Publication date12.09.2019
Number of characters59129
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